Giving up running… or not

The week generally didn’t go as expected. Last Sunday I talked about how I was making progress running, and now I’m waiting for an MRI. Life is always, eh, interesting.

On Monday evening I started having an odd pain on the top of my left foot. On Tuesday it was still not too bad but bad enough, on Wednesday morning it was quite bad. On Thursday it seemed to be improving. On Friday I had a doctor’s appointment and it was much worse again but began to get much better again in time for my doctor’s appointment. This crazy old body is trying to play tricks with me! One moment I think the foot is fractured, the next it’s only a niggle.

You all know my history with injuries. And it’s a pattern that repeats itself – that as soon as I start making progress with running, an injury happens, and I have to rest, recover, do more physiotherapy, and start over. I’m on a third round with it now.

So how can I ever make any true progress with running? And if not, is there even a point with trying? And can I ever enjoy it fully if I just have to worry about injuries?

I was ready to give up running altogether. I even made a plan for it – to focus 100% on strength and mobility training, to kick **** in the gym and in my own training room, and become strong and flexible like a Russian gymnast. Well, not quite, lol, but you get the idea! Even if I can’t run I still want to challenge myself physically, and there’s a lot to do in the strength, mobility, balance and stability department.

Then I saw a doctor who told me I’m probably just very unlucky, that I’m doing all the right things, but I should have a physio evaluation for running/walking mechanics, and she totally encouraged me to get back to running when this is solved. She even mentioned marathons! We’ll see about that! For the near future I’ll be happy if I can walk normally. She gave me an anti-inlammatory cream and sent a referral for an MRI to rule out a stress fracture. I left feeling positive and hopeful.

Other than the bittersweet stuff, how did the week go, fitness-wise? Here’s a summary.

  • Monday – run & walk intervals, 3.7 km
  • Tuesday – gym day with some increased weights
  • Wednesday – rest day
  • Thursday – rowing
  • Friday – gym day
  • Saturday – strength and mobility, although not planned – more info below
  • Sunday – core strength and mobility

Monday – running

My last run, for now. The thermometer showed 10C (50F) but it seemed like much more in the sun, and I realised my padded jacket is way too warm now and that it would have been enough wearing a long sleeve top with a windbreaker. Possibly even my 3/4 leggings. This is a biggie for me, lol! I know that most of you would use tank tops and shorts in this kind of weather but that’s not for me until it’s near 20 degrees!

I assume you recognise this road by now. 🙂
Remains from the rally!

I went the favourite road towards the beach, ran mostly on the flat areas as usual and walked the rest, but turned back about halfway to make it an appropriate loop distance. I did my usual intervals but walked quite a bit because of a subtle pain under my right foot. That pain is nothing new, I probably have mild PF but I’ve stopped worrying about it because it’s getting better and I’m doing all the things I should be doing. On the way back I could run more, and felt good.

It seemed like a quite good run, but in the evening I developed that pain on the top of my left foot.

Tuesday – gym day

When running goes down the drain, some heavy lifting will lift your soul, and this was a great session. Some exercises were replaced because of the foot pain. Again, he had increased weights on some exercises. It was some hard going, but very satisfying!

  • Sumo squats, barbell 35 kgs
  • Romanian deadlifts, barbell 35 kgs
  • Chest press, barbell 25 kgs
  • Flyes, 8 kg dumbbells
  • Dumbbell row, 15 kgs
  • Good mornings, barbell 25 kgs
  • Reverse flyes/bent over raise, 4 kg dumbbells


Rest and recovery with some good DOMS after my lifting session.


I started the day with 20 minutes on the rowing machine. It was quite hard work, still sore after the Tuesday lifting session, and I was totally out of my routine and not in the mood. Thursday would have been the day for a morning run. Now the rowing machine will be my go-to cardio friend for some time.

Friday – gym day

I went to the gym in my 3/4 leggings and only a thin running top under my (too heavy) jacket. Spring is here! I had a good session with the usual work and no-impact leg exercises and I felt in good form.

Of course there are exercises I can’t do, but there’s lots more that I CAN do! Let’s focus on that.
We talked a lot during this session. I left feeling encouraged, hopeful, and grateful. I have a great support team here.

My trainer’s colleague wants to see me on Tuesday after my session. Or, she wants to see my legs! Could be interesting. All for science – or to possibly get some input on this injury situation.


Normally we would have gone for a long walk, but of course not today. My husband started working on a new kitchen floor, and I took down shelves in my home office to replace them with a Kallax unit. I’ve had a home-built shelving system with some complex DIY solutions and it was a pain in the **** to take down. Deadlifts, good mornings, side planks, hip mobility moves and much more were involved! I was reminded of how much all the work I’ve done in the gym helps in everyday life.

Sunday – strength and mobility at home

For today I’m planning my usual strength and mobility workout, with everything I can do without using the feet, so it will be mostly core, hip mobility, rotator cuffs and triceps. I should be able to do some planks since I could do push-ups in the gym, but we’ll see.

For the afternoon, a concertina friend in Sweden invited me to a music session on Zoom, with mostly concertina players but any instruments are welcome. If I’m brave I’ll play something on the concertina (I’m still rather stumbly with it if I play on my own), otherwise guitar and singing. That should be fun!

Thoughts of the week

When I sat waiting for the doctor on Friday, I read David Goggins’ latest book on my phone and thought “Am I giving up too easily? Shouldn’t I try harder to solve the problem and get back to what I want to be able to do? What about that jävlaranamma?”

Now, at the end of the week, I’ve decided to not give up running. I just need to get help to figure out what’s going wrong, correct it, get help to do the right training, and then get back to running when I feel ready.

In the meantime as I mentioned above, I’ll focus on strength and mobility, and whatever my foot mechanics evaluation reveals. And spring is here – when my foot is better I’ll enjoy long walks with the camera.

This week has been confusing and very up and down, but I’m going into the new week feeling good. Everything is going to be ok.

I’m joining the Weekly rundown link-up with Deborah from Confessions of a mother runner, and Kim from Running on the fly. Check it out to get some running and fitness inspiration!


35 responses to “Giving up running… or not”

  1. Wendy avatar

    I think seeing PT and getting an evaluation of your running mechanics is a great idea! Hopefully, your pain is just that, pain and not a stress fracture. I would be surprised if it was- you aren’t running high mileage! Anxious to hear what you find out.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’d be surprised too! The dr said it can happen also with low mileage particularly in women… but then when it comes to sports medicine I’m not sure how much regular GPs know… we’ll see.

  2. Lindsay avatar

    What a rollercoaster!! I’ve been there. It’s hard to know what’s staying the course and doing the work and what’s just not meant to be… I’m so glad you have such a wonderful support system and have some hope for navigating through this. It’s always a win to end the week in a better place than you started!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, crazy life, crazy feet… lol. We’ll see what happens. I’ll take a long break from running and work on strength and more. It will be ok – and this time I’m determined to not let it get me down in mood. That’s a good thing.

  3. Marcia avatar

    I’m so sorry your foot is causing pain again. So frustrating. I think you are wise though to not give up entirely until you get some concrete answers. Keep leaning into that strength training!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I had some days there when I was just fed up and felt there’s no point with trying to run. But I’m back on track. Or at least I won’t decide until later. And in the meantime I’ll kick **** with strength training!

  4. Deborah Brooks avatar

    I totally get the week not going as planned thing. I am sorry to read that your foot is bothering you. Hopefully, the PT can give you some tips and insight into your injuries. The strength training will always serve you well

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, hopefully I’ll get this figured out. And yes, strength training will always be my base for fitness and I’m super happy with my progress there lately.

  5. Jenny avatar

    Well, I’m glad you ended the week feeling good. I’m pleasantly surprised that your doctor encouraged you to run- so many doctors are against running and would just tell you to stop before you hurt yourself. Since you really seem to enjoy running, I think it’s worth it to try to get to the bottom of your foot issues. In the meantime, the strength training you’re doing will only help. Oh, and that David Goggins book is good, isn’t it? He’s definitely overcome a lot of obstacles in his life.

    1. Susanne avatar

      How awful about those other doctors! I’m glad I met one with some more positive attitude about running.
      I’m slipping in and out of being disappointed and angry but overall I’m in a much better place emotionally than I’ve been with the other injuries. Perhaps because I’ve dealt with all the emotions already and could make an action plan immediately.
      I haven’t come so far with the Goggins book yet, but if it’s anything like his first book, it will inspire me incredibly. His first book changed my mindset totally when it comes to challenges and overcoming struggles whether it’s injuries or things going on in my head (self-doubt, overthinking etc).

  6. Debbie avatar

    Fingers crossed that there’s no stress fracture in your foot and after you get the MRI results and see a physical therapist you can come up with a plan to get back into running.

    You know I love seeing pictures of that road you run/walk on. Keep them coming!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Debbie, I’m very confused over this foot – hopefully it’ll turn out to just be some soft tissue problem. At least now I’ve initiated some plan that will help understand what’s going on.
      When I can go for walks again, I’ll take plenty of photos so rest assured about that! 😀 When I walk rather than run, I take more photos too. I’m excited to see this longer loops in spring. I’ve avoided them recently because they’re too long for my level of running and I wanted to avoid being tempted to run too much. As if that helped, ha!

  7. Melissa avatar

    You have gotta do what’s best for you! I love that you’ve already developed a plan on what to do if running doesn’t work for you. Good luck with the food. I had some stress fractures in my foot several years ago, and it was a pain but after time off i did come back at it!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I had to make a plan to focus on something positive and keep going with my fitness work. There’s so much I can still do despite this and I have to focus on that instead of being disappointed and upset.

  8. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    the beginning of this post made me sad and then now I feel relieved. I think you enjoy running to give it up.

    I had a year of broken ankle, then 2nd metatarsal stress fracture and then broken 5th metatarsal… I was ready to throw in the towel. Then I had 10 injury-free years… until now. (Oops forgot about the bunion, neuroma, hammer toe…OY!)

    My stress fracture came out of nowhere and I even ran two 5ks… but who knows? there’s no many annoying minor things it could be..

    Fingers crossed for a return to healthy running!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      You are right, Darlene. I enjoy running too much to give it up. For now I don’t know how I will know I’m ready to run again. Other than the normal things like being able to do long quick walks. But I’ll figure it out.
      Thanks for sharing about your multiple injuries followed by 10 injury free years. That gives me a lot of hope and inspiration! There are so many things that can go wrong with our feet though. Isn’t it stranger that they work for runner than not?
      Tonight I feel I’d be very surprised if it was a stress fracture. I have so little pain. We’ll see. Thanks for your encouragement.

  9. Coco avatar

    Running can be frustrating when it seems like it’s one thing after another, but when it feels good it all seems worth it! I hope you get your MRI soon and that it’s clear.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Coco! A big yes to that – when you have one of those runs that just feels great, it’s definitely worth all the trouble. I hope I’ll get there again.

  10. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    I am so sorry that you’re being sidelined again — but I think I love your doctor.

    Hopefully once this injury has subsided, hopefully sooner rather than later, you’ll see someone and get your particular body mechanics sorted out. We are all different and have different needs!

    For me, even my very slow running, is really good for my cardio health. The heart is a muscle too, I always say!

    1. Susanne avatar

      She was a lovely doctor! So positive and encouraging.
      I hope I can get this sorted out and get help to make a plan. Whatever that plan will include.

  11. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Oh no, sorry about the gout Odin. Ugh. I’m glad you’re getting some input from your PT and I’m really glad you’re feeling positive about everything:-)

    1. Kimberly Hatting avatar

      Oops…autocorrect failure! I meant sorry about the foot pain, LOL

      1. Susanne avatar

        Autocorrect has to die! LOL.
        Yes. With my other injuries I dealt with all the emotional stuff so there wasn’t much more to mourn over this time. Although of course I was disappointed and upset the first days. But I wanted to make a plan immediately to focus on something positive and productive.

  12. Michelle avatar

    I can so understand the frustrations with your injuries. I hope the PT is able to help you resolve your foot pain quickly.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Frustrating certainly is the right word. I’ve been a lot better today though! Maybe this will be more short-lived than expected.

  13. Jenn avatar

    Injury, especially constant or repeated injury, can be the worst. It’s physically and emotionally taxing and I can understand wanting to give up. Hang in there. An evaluation might be just the thing tot get you back to where you want to be!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Jenn. Yes, it’s very emotionally draining and sort of killed the joy with running. But if I can get help to figure out what has been going wrong, I want to try to correct it and get back out there.

  14. Christie Hawkes avatar

    Hello Susanne. What a pleasure to meet you through your blog. I ran regularly for several years and even ran a marathon. My favorite distance is 10k. I got out of the habit during the pandemic, which seems weird since you can do it outside without getting close to anyone. It really came down to my gym closing, so I didn’t have access to a track in inclement weather, and to the race I had signed up for getting cancelled. Recently, I’ve had this desire to start up again, but I get one run in and then something interrupts my plans (usually weather), so I can’t seem to get any momentum. After reading your post, perhaps I need to try a little harder.

    Good luck with your foot and your physio. I’ll be watching your blog to see how it goes.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Christie, I think we’ve chatted before on one of our blogs! That is lovely that you’ve been doing races. I hope you do get started again! Running is so liberating and energising. I really would love being able to do it.
      Before this injury I ran twice a week, always the same days scheduled and I went out no matter the weather. The only thing that would stop me was being sick, injured, or if we had a storm. I strictly believe in having things like this scheduled so they become a habit, and that weather is irrelevant (except snow, ice, or storms because it’d make it unsafe).

      Today my foot has been dramatically better! It’s a very promising development. We’ll see how it is tomorrow, it’s very up and down. But for the near future my only plan is to go for walks, and do strength training. However, if the foot gets better so soon, I can get that physio evaluation done sooner than expected.

  15. Kim G avatar

    Injuries can be so incredibly frustrating! It’s an excellent idea to see a PT and get a running analysis. I find that it can be super helpful to get feedback on your gait, etc.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I’m sort of looking forward to that. Although I have no idea when/how it will happen because I assume I need to be able to run to do it. I’m much better today but wouldn’t even dream of running! But yes, it’s a good idea and should give some insights.

  16. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    Hopefully the pain isn’t anything major. I’ve had some odd pains on the top of my foot, and after a little bit of rest, the best for my relief was lacing the shoes in different ways to avoid the pressure. Running injuries are a bummer (yes, I do know!!).

    1. Susanne avatar

      That’s interesting with your top of the foot pain! I also hope it’s nothing major. I’m getting better, but the other PT in my gym looked at it and was quite certain it is a stress fracture, or at the very least a stress reaction. We’ll see. Now instead I have pain at the side of my foot, perhaps after having tried to avoid bending my toes when walking. There’s always something.

  17. Anne avatar

    Oh, Susanne. What a pain. Literally. I will look forward to see what the results of your MRI were… just glad you could get one on relatively short notice, and that there is likely a path forward for you. And, I’m amazed at the *mental* turnaround you had in one week! Going from “not going to run anymore” to “I can do this!” – you are determined and it shows. Rooting for you, as always, from afar. <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      Honestly, I don’t know anymore. It started improving but now seems worse again, and feels like it will take a long time to even be able to walk normally. To get strong enough to run, it may take some year (I realised I’ve been naive with what’s required of the body to run efficiently) and then I may be too old. On the other hand, I saw something on Instagram about a lady who started running on her 60th birthday. I might just focus on strength and flexibility and be happy about progress with that. We’ll see.

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